Welcome to our latest blog post! Today, we’ll be discussing natural induction methods and their relevance to homebirths.

This topic was sparked from a client conversation that I had, alongside a podcast episode where they talked a little bit about natural induction methods. I thought it would be worth exploring further.

I haven’t really talked about induction because in a homebirth, we can’t exactly induce but I did hear a story where a woman did go through some sort of augmentation with her midwife.

As a homebirth guide, I believe it’s essential to be informed about natural induction methods, quite often the topic of how we naturally induce will come up (like in my VBAC Homebirth group), so I wanted to give you some tips on how you can naturally induce.

Listen to this podcast episode below

Common Natural Induction Methods 

Before diving into the different methods, I want to emphasise that there’s no judgement on what you decide to do. Every individual is different, and there is no one set rule for anyone. It’s essential to use your intuition, knowledge, and research to create an individualised care plan in collaboration with your care team and providers.

I understand some of the pressures when face who potentially lose a midwife after 42 weeks.  And the mindset challenges and fears that can come into play for late gestators.

1. Acupressure is one of the natural induction methods we’ll discuss.

It involves applying pressure to specific points on the body, which can stimulate contractions.

If this is your cup of tea, you can visit an acupuncturist who is trained in pregnancy, and they may teach you some techniques that you can use at home.

 

2. Another natural method is evening primrose oil.

This one, I personally think, is not recommended for VBAC.

Evening primrose oil contains prostaglandins that help soften and ripen the cervix which then helps stimulate contractions. Now, they talk about inserting this into your vagina and I’ve like I looked into this when I was pregnant and it is not something that’s currently recommended especially for VBAC women.

So be sure to research this method before considering it. It’s worth noting that just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s always healthy or appropriate for you.

3. Walking

Walking is another natural method that can help stimulate contractions. It’s not necessary to walk marathons, but going for a walk every day can be helpful, especially if it’s a regular part of your routine.

On the contrary, when I was pregnant with my freebirth baby, long walks were already an extreme step up from what I was doing, because I wasn’t actually doing any exercise. Whereas my neighbor, she was exercising, she would go for an hour walk every single day, seven days a week. And that was what she was doing before she was pregnant, taking her dogs for walks. And she did it right up until she gave birth, that would be natural and normal for her because her body was used to it.

But going for long walks when you’re not used to it just to get yourself ready to go could be counterintuitive to the whole process for you. So make sure you
Are comfortable when you do this.

4. Spicy foods

Now, I don’t really think eating spicy food is a thing. I love spicy food. I have chili on most of my food every night. So I have spicy food a lot and all of the time but it did not change a thing for me.
But…. I know for many it can help clear out the system.  I like to trust the body will do this when and if it needs to without help from spicy foods. 

5. Using herbal/essential oils.

I fell down the old trick of trying some essential oils after a recommendation of one of my friends.

I was desperate to bring on labour during my VBAC hospital attempt and would have done almost anything to have a vaginal birth (this was before I understood my body didn’t need any help). 

I tried Clary Sage which didn’t have any impact on me.  It smelt nice, but it didn’t seem to do anything.  Other women may have different experience of course, as we all respond differently. 

Trusting Your Body and Waiting for Labour to Start Naturally

In the first part of this blog, we discussed some of the common ways that pregnant mums do to induce labour.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that with each intervention, there are risks involved. While it may be tempting to try natural induction methods, it’s important to remember that inducing labour is not a natural process. You’re essentially trying to force something to happen, which can lead to complications for both the mother and the baby. 

For example, nipple stimulation can cause contractions that are too strong, leading to fetal distress. Similarly, using herbal supplements or castor oil could cause premature labour, which could derail your home birth experience.

It’s important to keep in mind that every woman’s body is different, and some may be more sensitive to certain methods than others. While natural induction methods may be effective for some, they may not work for everyone.

Ultimately, the best approach is to trust your body and wait for labour to start naturally. Your baby will come when they’re ready, and it’s important to take care of yourself in the meantime. Focus on self-care, nourishing yourself, and practising positive affirmations to prepare for the birth you want.

While it can be difficult to wait, especially if you’re close to the 42-week mark, know that you’re doing a great job. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and give yourself self-love as you approach the end of your pregnancy.

Your Intuition and a  Birth Plan

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your baby will come when they’re ready. Listen to your intuition, connect with your body and baby, and not get caught up in anxious thoughts.

Every pregnancy is unique, and it’s essential to listen to your body and intuition and make informed decisions, not choices that are fear based.

If you’re facing the possibility of losing your birth team or other unforeseen circumstances, it’s important to have a backup birth plan that you’re comfortable with.

I would love to hear from you. If you have tried natural induction methods. Did they work? Are you thinking about it? Or did you decide to just go l natural and not try it at all and just kind of let it go on its own and surrender to the process.


Stay Beautiful and shine your light bright. 

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Ashley x

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